Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Herb and Cheese Scones

I've been experiencing high blood pressure since Luke was born last year, well it actually started at 38 weeks pregnant and it hasn't returned to normal yet, in fact it's quite high. I'll have to wear a 24 hour blood pressure monitor next week to get a better handle on it. However in the meantime I'm trying to make some changes to help it as well like less stress (easier said than done!), more physical activity (thanks to our new family member, Murphy the dog this is going well) and changing my diet. I've switched to low fat / skimmed products and really have to watch my salt in take, I have a ridiculous craving for salt, its scary. This seems to be my doctors main cause for concern. It just so happens that my mum has a cook book for everything including recipes that are high blood pressure friendly. So I've been experimenting and wanted to share the recipes here in case there is anyone else who may find them helpful :)

Ingredients:

9oz Self Raising Flour
1/4 tsp Bread Soda
1 1/2 oz Butter
1 tblsp Snipped Fresh Chives (Or dried chives if you don't have fresh)
1/4 tsp Rosemary (or whatever herbs you prefer)
2oz Cheese, cheddar, mozzarella whichever you fancy but reduced fat
175ml Buttermilk
1 Egg White, lightly beaten

Method:


  • Pre heat oven the 230 degrees celsius and line a baking tray with parchment paper or lightly coat with cooking spray
  • Mix together the flour, herbs and bread soda in a large bowl
  • Rub the butter in until mixture looks like coarse bread crumbs
  • Stir in half of the cheese (I did a mixture of cheddar and mozzarella)
  • Make a well in the centre of the mixture and add the buttermilk
  • Mix with a fork until a soft sticky dough forms. I found I had to add a bit more buttermilk here 
  • Drop heaping teaspoons of the dough on to the baking tray, or grab a small handful and put it on the tray like I did. You get about 15 scones out of this. I did them a bit small so made the next batch bigger and got 7 scones out of the mixture.
  • Brush them with egg white and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
  • Bake for approx 12 minutes or until golden 

These are lovely just out of the oven with some unsalted butter or served cooled down with a slice of ham.



Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Squishable Penguin - A Review

We recently received quite a large box in the post that contained the newest member of our cuddly toy collection, only this one is one with a difference!
This penguin is most definitely the most cuddly toy we now own and certainly lives up to it's name, Squishable. It's so squishy and cuddly!
Luke has taken to taking it by the hand and bringing it with him around the house or using it as a pillow on the floor. Katie thinks it's the best thing ever to cuddle up to on the couch, using it as a pillow too. I myself may have been caught using it as a pillow at some stage also! I love how soft it feels and it's the perfect size for flopping down on the couch with for some time out.

There are variety of types you can choose from, I wanted the hedgehog, the OH wanted the dragon so we somehow settled for the penguin. Although I have a feeling we will be adding to our collection of Squishable's and the hedgehog is definitely next :)

Go and get your very own with 10% off from the lovely peeps over at Squishable.co.uk





Thursday, 31 July 2014

Me & Mine July

We are calling this month, Selfie month! I love our pictures this month, they were taken on a whim on a recent trip to a local beach. Luke wasn't impressed with being on the outside of the picture so he pushed his was into the middle of the pictures, it was super cute. He's got sand and ice cream all over his face in these pictures too!
July has been another busy month, unfortunately mostly because of work though. My days off have been scattered so have been having one day off at a time and having to work weekends too, my routine is all over the place. James has been working loads more as well but its given Luke a chance to spend some quality time with his Nanny and Grandad helping out in their garden. He's such an outdoor baby, he's happiest when he's running around in the fresh air or playing in his sandpit or being taken around the garden in the wheelbarrow. This month Luke had his first somewhat serious injury and split open his forehead in the garden, he's sporting a lovely plaster in the pictures. It's still healing but he's not bothered by it.
I really feel like this month has been made up of snatched family moments here and there and I hate when it feels like that but I guess it will be like this sometimes. As long as I can still some home and get to put my little boy to bed every night that'll keep me going until things slow down again and we get back to our normal routine.






This month Luke loves:

  • Talking - he is trying to communicate verbally with us so much more now
  • The garden and the sandpit and the paddling pool
  • Ice cream
This month Dad loves:
  • Going back to football training
  • Watching Sons of Anarchy
  • Working, well not really I suppose but he spent so much time there recently he kind of has to!
This month Mum loves:
  • Bringing Luke to the beach
  • Catching up with some friends
  • The sunny warm weather

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Roches Point

Today was a lovely Sunday afternoon spent with the OH and Luke. We started off by having lunch with the family in my parents, my sister made delicious panini's!
We decided to head to a beach of some kind today seeing as the weather was so warm. I had planned on going to Inch beach near Whitegate in Cork but I am ashamed to say I got lost! Having lived in that area on and off for 3 years during my time working in Trabolgan years ago you would think I'd know my way! I'll blame the baby brain (still!) for that one. It worked out quite well anyway because while we were spinning around trying to find our way Luke had a nap and woke just as we reached our destination.
We finally found our way back to Whitegate and stopped off at the shop to refuel. The playground here is actually one of the best I've been in too so we let Luke have a run around in there, he loves climbing on top of the slide and looking out at everyone and everything. Of course the ice cream van came around at the same time so the OH insisted we get some!
We went on our way to Roches Point which at the entrance to Cork harbour. It's such a lovely tiny village, I'd love to live there in one the colourful houses, I could imagine sitting by the window in the Winter and watching the waves crash.
Although Luke has been on a beach before this was his first time getting his feet wet, we found a little rock pool for him to get his feet wet in and of course he just had to sit down in it! Luckily we had a change of clothes. He had his first feel of seaweed to and had great fun throwing it around. It probably wasn't the most ideal beach to bring him too as its quite rocky but the trek to the sandy beach next to it was too much in the heat today (it involves a big hill!).
We finished off our day doing a bit of shopping and then having homemade lasagne for dinner.

This is the way all Sundays should be spent :)
Hope you all had a lovely weekend!

*Luke is sporting a rather stylish plaster due to a nasty fall in his Nanny and Grandad's garden yesterday, I'm more traumatised by it than he is I think, it's his first cut...the first of many I keep being told!!*















Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Ask Your Guides by Sonia Choquette - #ReadWithMe

Yay I'm delighted to be able to take part in Chantelle's linky #ReadWithMe again, I didn't think I would but I have started reading a new book recently.
I used to be a regular reader and it was one of my favourite past times but since becoming a parent I don't think I've read one book! I finished one just before L was born in June 2013. This is appalling for me! Me and Mum would often swap books, she practically has her own library at home.
So since seeing the #ReadWithMe linky and Chantelle so kindly sent me a list of books I might like, I've decided to make more of an effort to read books again.

My book this week is one that has been on my shelf for a while and I started it a couple of weeks ago. Now I'm only as far as the introduction but so far so good. I really wanted to just get a kick start on joining  in this linky so I don't have much to base my post on but a quick over view is:

Ask Your Guides is a book about contacting your spiritual guides if you are into that sort of thing of course. In the introduction alone the authors tone is very friendly and easy going and not too heavy as some of these kind of books can be. I often find it hard to concentrate on these kind of books if they are all too serious.
This book goes through things like the difference between angels and spirit guides, where your spirit guide comes from, who they are and how many you have as well as explaining how you can work with them daily.
I'm a firm believer in the spiritual and angel world and am delighted to have found a book that, so far, is explaining these world's to me.

I hope to get around to finishing this book in the next few weeks as there are a few exercises that need to be completed at the end of some of the chapters.
I've decided that my lunch breaks at work shall be spent reading instead of surfing the net, seeing as I'm looking at a computer screen all day at work turning off and reading for an hour will be a welcome break :)





Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Are You That Parent? I Am

I came to a horrible realisation this morning that I'm a certain kind of parent, one that is paining me to admit.

Hi, my name is Louise and I am a Control Freak Parent. There, it's out, I've admitted it now please don't hold it against me.

I know I've always had control issues, not with people but more with my surroundings if that makes sense. I'm of the attitude that if I want something done properly I may as well do it myself, a bit of perfectionist at times. I won't go into details but the OH wouldn't have been blamed for walking out on me one time over my issues with his painting in the living room.. I was 7 months pregnant at the time so I'm gonna put that incident down to hormones as well and we had just moved house, it was a very stressful time!
So when I recently read an article about this kind of parent alarm bells went toff in my head, oh dear God that's me!
I'm the parent who does it all, I'm tired, frazzled trying to make sure everything is done, ready and prepped for the next day, always running around, there's always something to be done.
The baby needs to be washed, fed, put to bed, the dog needs to be walked, fed and watered, the washing needs to be done, the hoovering needs to be done, the dishwasher needs to be emptied, the dinner needs to be cooked and what about that pile of washing that's been sitting in a basket on the upstairs landing for the past week?! That's not going to put itself away is it?! We won't even mention the ironing basket that's over flowing over the stairs banister.
I'm always the one doing it all. chasing my tail trying to keep up with everything as well as hold down a full time job. Sure look I have to do it all myself if I want it done the right way don't I?

Well no actually I don't, I just need to realise that MY way isn't necessarily the right way or the only way.
I believe it is a common attitude of the mother's to take on. For me my protectiveness plays a part in this and I just need to make sure everything is always ready for Luke, that he doesn't have to experience the standards slipping and seeing as I put those standards there then obviously it's up to me to keep them and nothing irritates me more then someone saying "Oh that's not like you" or "you're usually so organised / tidy /clean etc".

However, I have a very willing and capable Other Half, in fact seeing as we both work full time at the moment everything is really split down the middle, he takes as much care of Luke as I do, the only thing he doesn't do is the bedtime bottle because that's my favorite part of the day, time to wind down and relax with my Boy after a busy day and have some cuddles before he goes off to the land of nod.
The household jobs fall on me but that's because I allow them too, the OH will happily whip out the hoover or hang out the washing or empty the dishwasher, sure most times I have to ask him to do it rather than he just doing it off his own back but still that lightens my load that day when I share some of the jobs with him and just because he may not hang out the washing the same way I do, in fact we do it completely differently, that's ok. There's no need for me to freak out, he lived on his own for long enough before I came along so he's well able to keep a house.
Of course he's not a mind reader and I'm sure when he comes in of an evening he doesn't see what I see, he thinks the baby is in bed, work is done now I can relax. I'm incapable of that most days.
Last night I even saw myself doing it with Luke, he was crying from his cot, the OH was upstairs and went in, I straight away ran up and was like "It's ok, mum is here" and automatically took Luke as if I was the only person that would be able to soothe him. Of course it's my mother's instinct but the OH and Luke have a super strong bond so there was no need for me to go in and take control.

Now my pain in the ass controlling manner works in my favour too sometimes, it makes me organised at work, prepared for all eventualities if away somewhere, I know where exactly all of the important papers are at home (in organised folders in a storage box in my room that nobody is allowed to touch!), etc but when it comes to parenting / home life maybe I need to take it down a notch and remember that there are 2 of us there, it doesn't always have to be me that does everything. We can lighten the load for each other, make the mammoth task of everyday life with full time work and a baby and a dog that bit easier on each other by me loosening my grip and accepting that not everything needs to be done perfectly, the house doesn't need to be shining every single day and that while I have Mother's instinct the OH also has his Father's instinct.

Or not 

*I may be posting this to my detriment when I have a day where I cannot remember all of the above but I've admitted now so no going back!*

Monday, 7 July 2014

Beetroot and Carrot Salad

There's nothing I love more than finding a new food or concoction of foods to eat especially a healthy kind.
This is my latest favourite and went down a treat at lunchtime with some delicious bread from the Alternative Bread Company in the English Market here in Cork city.

Ingredients:
3x Carrots

1x Small jar of Beetroot (this was all I had in the house)

1x Tblsp Balsamic Vinegar

1x Tsp of Honey


Method:


  • Peel and grate the carrots
  • Chop up the beetroot into small pieces
  • Put in a bowl with the balsamic vinegar and honey and mix together

Simple as that! Perfect accompaniment for any lunch.